Thursday, November 10, 2005
Let me save you the 11.99 you might be tempted to spend on Art Review's Power 100 issue. To boil the fat off of everything for you, number 6 on The Best Shows Of The Year list captures the spirit of this fetid thing.
"6. Damien Hirst, Gagosian Gallery, New York
It may have had critics shaking their heads at Hirst's over-inflation, but the enthusiasm of buyers, and rumours that the larger works were selling for $2 million dollars a piece, made this one of the most talked-about shows of the year."
The Hirst was a crap show, and everybody knows it was a crap show.
So, um. is it really the best time to be judging art based on "the enthusiasm of buyers"? At Phillips de Pury on Saturday I found that there were an inordinate number of pieces on the block that had been in shows just a year or two ago. That tells me that (a) buyers don't trust their own judgements, or more likely (b) investment is a large factor in buying right now. Of course, people are still spending boatloads of money on art because they love it, but the collective taste of buyers is a bit skewed at the moment.
I've been a record geek all my life so I'm a big fan of lists, but I almost never trust public conversations about power. People confuse it with celebrity and influence. I know. That's the context that Art Review has given us. Fine. Whatever. Here's what I call power . . . Zach Feuer in the July 2005 issue of Art + Auction: "I wouldn't dream of poaching another dealer's work."
It's called honor and respect y'all, and it will kick your ass everytime.